Perhaps you love nature and want to feel more comfortable out in the elements by yourself. Maybe you want to share a fun experience with your family or friends. You might even be one of the growing subset of people afraid of being left behind in the inevitable zombie apocalypse. Whatever your reasoning, the orienteering course offered this Saturday, September 1, by Jefferson Memorial Forest  staff and volunteers is a great way to get outside, get active, and learn something new.
The course, called Outdoor Skills – Orienteering I, starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday and runs until noon. It serves as a basis for beginners or nature enthusiast who needs a review of the basics. “We’ll be teaching this course as if you’ve never used a compass or you’ve never seen a topographical map before,” said Matt Douthitt, naturalist. “It also serves as a good refresher.”
The program provides participants with the skills necessary to read and interpret topographic maps, relate the maps to compass points, match the maps to the land around them, and locate destinations. This course offers a set of exercises that create a hands-on learning experience. Volunteers who help teach the course are members of Orienteering Louisville , a club chartered by the US Orienteering Federation.
“The first part of the course is really an introduction on how to read the map and the compass and get a feel for the lay of the land,” said Douthitt. “Then they use those skills. We will set up way-points and let the participants put their skills into practice.”
To register for the Outdoor Skills – Orienteering I course, you must call ahead to (502) 368-5404. The course is $10 per person and is recommended for anyone ages 12 and up. To offer the best learning experience, the course will be closed when registration reaches 15 people. Participants will meet at the Horine Reservation in Jefferson Memorial Forest.
Photo: MorgueFile/duboix